Who is a refugee?
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act
(INA), a refugee is an alien who, generally, has experienced
past persecution or has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race,
religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political
opinion. Individuals who meet this definition may be considered for
either refugee status under Section 207 of the INA if they are outside the
United States, or asylum status under
Section 208 of the INA, if they are already in the United States.
Since the passage of the Refugee Act in 1980, which incorporated this definition of refugee into the INA, the United States has admitted more than 3.1 million refugees.
The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP)
outside the United States seeking admission as a refugee under Section 207 of the
INA are processed through the U.S. Refugee
Admissions Program (USRAP), which is managed by the Department
of State in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Those admitted as
refugees are eligible for U.S. government-funded resettlement
Resettlement to the United States is a process that can take months or even years. Resettlement is voluntary and refugees must decide for themselves whether relocating to the United States is the appropriate choice for them and their families.
For more information on the USRAP, please consult the following: